First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid?

Certain health conditions can result in a buildup of fluid in certain tissues, known as 'edema'. Whilst this problem can usually tackled with proper positioning of the affected body part, it is sometimes necessary to manually drain the fluid from the body. This is especially true if the fluid is built up in or around the vital organs (e.g. heart and lungs) and is preventing them from properly functioning. To accomplish this, the surgeons will temporarily install 'drains' in the body which will draw the excess fluid out.

Book First Walk Free!

Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid Procedure in Dogs

Many fluids can simply be drained via the use of a hypodermic needle and local anesthesia. More serious cases which require the installation of a drain will need general anesthesia to be administered before surgery can begin. The surgeon will then shave a small area where the drainage tube will be inserted before making the incision (which will typically be only a few inches long). Next, the surgeon will insert the end of the tubing into the affected cavity and secure it in place. The other end will be connected either to a flask for the fluid to naturally drain into via gravity, or to a pump which will pull the excess fluid out of the body. Depending on the severity of the fluid retention, the drain may be removed after surgery or left in to manage liquid levels over a longer period of time.

Efficacy of Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid in Dogs

The results of drainage should be apparent immediately, with the dog displaying a noticeable reduction in swelling and other symptoms. For dogs suffering from heart or breathing problems, an increased level of activity will usually be noticeable relatively quickly. The length of time until these effects start to fade is dependent on the severity of the problem and any complementary treatment methods that are being used. Alternatives to drainage include the use of diuretic drugs, which promote the expulsion of liquid in the form of urine, leaving excess fluids to be absorbed by the body. While effective in the long term, diuretics do not offer the quick results that manual drainage does and thus are not normally used as an emergency measure.

Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid Recovery in Dogs

A surgical drain will usually not be left in place for long, as this can lead to issues such as loss of mobility in the affected body part. A normal period of time for a drain to be left in varies from between a couple of hours to a couple of weeks depending on the needs of the patient. The dog will often be kept overnight at the veterinary clinic for observation as the drainage completes, so most owners need not worry about maintaining the drain at home. After the drain has been removed and the incision closed, the vet will release the dog back to the owner, who can then expect to follow normal post-surgery aftercare guidelines (i.e. not letting the dog pull at their sutures, restricting exercise as needed, and administering painkillers). A series of weekly follow-up visits to the vet will also be necessary in order to ensure that the surgical wound and underlying condition are healing as expected.

Cost of Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid in Dogs

As drainage of fluid is a relatively straightforward procedure, most owners can expect the price to be below $600. However, depending on the length of time that the dog needs the drain in place, this price could increase substantially.

Dog Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid Considerations

One of the main problems with drainage is the fact that it effectively maintains an open wound, meaning that infection is an ever-present risk. The use of general anaesthetic can also be of concern to some dog owners, as certain breed dispositions and health conditions can increase the risk of respiratory failure whilst in surgery. That said, vets will generally not recommend drainage unless it is absolutely necessary and is vital to the good health of the dog.

Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid Prevention in Dogs

To avoid the conditions that require surgical drainage, owners can ensure that their dog enjoys regular exercise and structured play. This is great way to strengthen the cardiovascular system and avoid many degenerative heart diseases. It also strengthens the dog's bones and joints, thereby mitigating the risk of many of the injuries (such as compound fractures) that can lead to fluid retention.

Surgery To Drain Excess Fluid Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

sugar
Great Pyrenees
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Strange breathing
tenderness

Hi i have a Great Pyrenees mix and i had my aunt babysit her yesterday and she left her shock- collar on too tight and now there is fluid in her neck I was wondering how much would it cost to get it drained?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Firstly remove the shock collar if not done already, it is generally the opinion that if you need to use a shock collar you cannot control your dog. Fluid accumulation from being shocked or from having a tight collar on isn’t as simple to drain as sticking in a needle, with time the body will absorb any fluid back into circulation; however, if Sugar is having breathing difficulties you should visit a Veterinarian or Emergency Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogster.com/lifestyle/the-pet-professional-guild-formally-denounces-shock-collars-and-it-is-right-to-do-it http://metro.co.uk/2018/02/08/shock-collars-dog-never-use-7297670/

Add a comment to sugar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Big bad Bubba
Chihauhau
16 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Bloating

Medication Used

Vetmedin

I'm concerned as to whether I should have my dog drained or put to sleep. He was put on vetmedin and lasix a couple months ago and then taken off because he was better just two weeks ago. He suddenly got worse and has been back on meds for a week and half but is now bloating. Dr. Wants to relieve fluids via putting him under and draining but he is 16 years old, he is frail and he is a chihauha with a bad heart. He's eating, drinking , walking and not affected by pain that we can see. Should we risk and have drainage done it just put him down? Torn on what to do.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is your Veterinarian’s determination whether or not they believe that putting him under anaesthesia and draining the abdomen is an appropriate treatment; we need to take into account the heart failure and determine whether the liver and the rest of the body may handle the anaesthesia. Also, draining the abdomen is a temporary fix, if the fluid isn’t controlled this time with the medication it may be a case that regular draining is required. You should discuss this with your Veterinarian as they are more familiar with the case. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Big bad Bubba's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Papi
Chiweenie
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

My dog has an open wound on the side of his leg around the rib cage but more up around his back ( most likely a dog bite)... it’s not pouring blood but I can see like a formed sack full of liquid underneath it next to the front leg, if I touch it blood comes out of the wound... what should I do??? He still walks fine and moves around.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination as I cannot comfortably give you any specific advice without examining Papi first; it is possible that a haematoma formed under the skin forming a pocket of blood but I wouldn’t recommend trying to remove it yourself since dislodging a clot may lead to a more serious bleed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Papi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Mia
Goldendoodle
5 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Itching wanting to scratch

My dog removed her drain near her wound area. Should I be concerned? She just got it in yesterday at around 3 pm. It’s 1 pm now and I’m wondering if I should take her to an emergency vet. The holes where the drain was do not look bad and she has discharged mostly blood since she came home. What should I do? Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
I'm not sure that the original reason for Mia having the drain was, but if she had a wound that had a drain placed for drainage, and she has removed the drain, you should not need to take her to an emergency clinic if the drain holes are clean and healthy. The drain was probably placed to faciliate healing, and the concern is that part of the drain is still present, and will cause a problem. It would be best to follow up with your veteirnarian to see if further care is needed, but it shoudl be fine to wait until tomorrow unless the wound is red, angry, or swollen.

Add a comment to Mia's experience

Was this experience helpful?